An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching.
demonstrate the incorrectness of this assertion.  Three main principles appear more or less clearly in all modern socialistic thought:  first, that private ownership of the means of production is unjustifiable; second, that all value comes from labour; and, third, that all unearned income is unjust.  These three great principles may or may not be sound; but it is quite certain that not one of them was held by the mediaeval theologians.  In the section on property we have shown that Aquinas, following the Fathers and the tradition of the early Church, was an uncompromising advocate of private property, and that he drew no distinction between the means of production and any other kind of wealth; in the section on just price we have shown that labour was regarded by the mediaevals as but a single one of the elements which entered into the determination of value; and in the section on usury we have shown that many forms of unearned income were not only tolerated, but approved by the scholastics.

We do not lose sight of the fact that socialism is not a mere economic system, but a philosophy, and that it is founded on a philosophical basis which conflicts with the very foundations of Christianity.  We are only concerned with it here in its character of an economic system, and all we have attempted to show is that, as an economic system, it finds no support in the teaching of the scholastic writers.  We do not pretend to suggest which of these two systems is more likely to bring salvation to the modern world; we simply wish to emphasise that they are two systems, and not one.  One’s inability to distinguish between Christ and Barabbas should not lead one to conclude that they are really the same person.


  Abelard, 14.
  Acts of the Apostles, 168.
      communism in, 44, 46. 
  Adam, 140.
    and Eve, slavery the result of their sin, 92. 
  Administrative occupations, position in artes possessivae, 143. 
  AEgidius Romanus, 98, 197, 225. 
  Agriculture, position in artes possessivae, 142, 143.
    its encouragement recommended, 143. 
  Albertus Magnus, 16, 82, 176, 186, 197. 
  Albigenses, the, belief in communism, 66. 
  Alcuin, 14. 
  Alexander of Hales, 176, 185. 
  Alexander III., Pope, 187.
    attitude to usury, 174. 
  Alfric, see Colloquy of Archbishop, The
  Almsgiving, as justice, not charity, 69.
    duty of, 80.
    enforcement by the State, 85.
    summary of mediaeval teaching on, 84.
    the early Church on, 52. 
  Ambition, a virtue, 79. 
  Ambrosius de Vignate, 191, 208. 
  Ananias, 46, 52. 
  Ancients, loss of economic teaching of, 15. 
  Angelus de Periglis de Perusio, 209, 210. 
  Antoine, 87, 172, 223. 
  Antoninus of Florence, 9, 68, 79, 110, 122, 181, 196. 
  Ape of Aristotle, the, see Albertus Magnus. 

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An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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